After struggling with a half dismembered whitebeam tree all weekend, it's a joy to come into the warmth and dryness of my study, and to visit the Blogosphere again. Not unnaturally, after so much hard gardening, one's thoughts turn to food.
A propos of which, Robinsons vegetable seed catalogue arrived yesterday. I love it, not because it has a wider range of vegetable seeds than anyone else, but because the firm has so much history.
This is a family business, founded by William Robinson in 1860. Not the Gravetye Manor Robinson who wrote The English Garden - nasty piece of work he was, by the way, but as ever, I digress. I ramble. Stop it! Get to the point!! Robinsons is still relatively small, still run by the family and still brings life, zest and interest to the RHS flower shows. They specialise in big things, so for size queens - among vegetable gardeners - they are a must! Giant cabbages and monster Kelsae onions are their stock in trade. But Robinsons sell lots of other great stuff too. I bought Tromboncini type climbing courgettes - not big, but wonderful for flavour and growing very long (and coming in a variety of very rude shapes) They graced my nasty, cheap-looking metal obelisk, last summer and made it look quite nice.
Robinsons offer lots of intersting chilli peppers, too, and their tomato range looks mouthwateringly good. They are at www.mammothonion.co.uk
There are far too few vegetable exhibits at the big RHS shows. The most spectacular showman, veg-wise, is Medwyn Williams. His parsnips are longer, and onions more curvaceous and his tomatoes more glistening and glorious than anyone elses. I've just been editing pictures we shot at Hampton Court - yes, I'm that far behind with the work! - and was amazed to recall that Medwyn's carrots can even get erections.
Medwyn's upright carrots.